Toto Ultramax product review, comments & pictures

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Reader Review, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,423
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I sell tons of the Ultramax toilets in the LA area.
    They will set out a bit farther, but then you old toilets were too.
  2. Headless Gal

    Headless Gal New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    San Pedro, CA.
    So does this puppy use a wax ring?
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,423
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Does it use wax?
    It installs like any other toilet.
    Depending on your situation, you may wind up using a single or two wax rings.
    Or you can also use a Waxless seal.
  4. torontoplumbingguy

    torontoplumbingguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Picked up my TOTO MS604114CEF Ultramax after reading user reports and reviews on this and other web sites and watching the videos on YOUTUBE. Just in the nick of time as I had already picked up a Koehler Class 5 Cimarron at the Home Depot as the salesman told me it was their "best". Pardon the pun. Crap.

    The Ultramax I picked up is called an Ultramax II actually; is ADA height, slow close seat included, SaniGloss, ultra water conservation (I get a whack of money back from the government against my Canadian $575 investment. It will net me about $500 total.) I also forked out for a new wax ring... but not just a regular one. Based on the reviews and suggestions I got one with a "cone" on it to center everything, bought new mounting bolts as well. One piece toilet. 1.28GPF flush but if you hold the handle down a little longer it appears that the water continues to flow for a larger water volume (?).

    Brought the beast home. It fit in the back of the Ford Flex with room to spare and was not all that heavy (we took two to carry it to be safe). Up the stairs, out of the box, onto the drain pipe and bolted down in ten minutes. Attach seat, water line, etc. another 10 minutes. No assembly. RED flapper guys.

    Now to test it. Hmmmm. Already did MY business this morning and showered... nobody else in the house willing to be the guinea pig so I figured Kleenex would be sufficient for an initial test. Bad idea. I get carried away. I tossed a 1/4 box of Kleenex tissue into the toilet and flipped the lever. Gonzo! Wow! This would never happen with my old American Standard! So I tossed the entire rest of the LARGE box of Kleenex in and pulled the handle. Gonzo! But wait. Doesn't look quite right.... the water level is not going right down and out. IT IS PLUGGED. IT IS PLUGGED. (No overflow though). Out comes the plunger and with the instructions received on this website on its proper use I gave it one shove. Nothing. Two shoves. All gone and we are back in business. I have been trying all sorts of other stuff including one of the family's "dump of the century" and it all goes down and leaves a clean as a whistle bowl.

    I am sorely disappointed by the Kleenex failure but not really surprised... after all, it was 3/4 of a LARGE box and it was not pulled apart... just plopped into the bowl like it sits in the box. All things being considered I cannot believe that there is a better toilet out there excepting perhaps the American Standard Champion 4 according to the videos on YOUTUBE. But they apparently have problems galore with 'run-on' and leakage (have lots of spare parts on hand I think is what the review said).

    We have two bathrooms to go and I am going to install TOTO and only TOTO from now on. Might give the Drake a try as it is actually rated as flushing a greater volume of poop than the Ultramax II.

    Anyone know the difference between the Ultramax and Ultramax II? We love it so far. The guy at the plumbing supply said to remove the weight from the flapper but we could not find a weight so I guess we are good to go (no pun intended).
  5. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,054
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I've had the same experience with the Ultramax II. It can really handle a lot of waste without any fuss. Like any toilet, though, it can clog under extreme conditions (like trying to flush 3/4 box of Kleenex).

    RE: the wax seal you used - the pros on this site are not too fond of the type you used, with the plastic "funnel" or horn - it sometimes will get caught on the flange during installation and end up occluding part of the hole and cause clogs later on. Better to use plain wax rings, or as Terry mentioned, a waxless seal like Fernco or Fluidmaster.
  6. torontoplumbingguy

    torontoplumbingguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Agreed.... but I just had to know before testing it with the REAL McCoy. I consider its performance under the circumstances a pass and we are renting a boat to head out into Lake Ontario later this afternoon to look for that wad of Kleenex hoping it made it downtown.

    Should have looked up the Fluidmaster part and description/installation information before heading off. Asked for the Fluidmaster and got the wax ring with the plastic 'funnel' ... funny thing is that the Koehler had the same thing inside the box and the kit that we purchased at another supplier also had the same thing. I thought it was the latest thing in wax seals to keep them from expanding under pressure and occluding part of the drain pipe and to ensure a solidly lined up poop hole (not being a commode techie). Seems to have done its job but now that we know how the whole thing works and how easy it is, should we have any future issues we will not hesitate to lift the toilet and investigate.

    The Kleenex test was, as I said to my wife, the 'acid test' for me to ensure that (a) this commode is going to take a load of paper clumped up and keep on working; and (b) that this commode is not going to overflow should it get sorta plugged. Like I said to the better half I would rather be mopping up water and Kleenex than anything else, right?

    And our bottom line?
    (a) The Ultramax II, ADA height, elongated seat, SaniGlaze (?), slow close lid, ECO friendly, is awesome. As one fellow said, 'no more watching the victory laps around the bowl and praying that it completes successfully.' Flush. Gone. Wow.
    (b) TOTO deserves the reputation based on what I have seen personally and what I have been reading and we will be putting TOTO's in our other two washrooms and in the basement when we get around to finishing it.

    Thanks for a great website and much assistance. Now we are off to tackle the sinks; all American Standard with those stinking rivets running down from the overflow where the ceramic pops off looking like something has been dropped on the sink. Defective design - wonder if they will replace them based on grossly negligent design flaw. Might be interesting to subpoena some AS execs into the courtroom to find out if there was any knowledge of the flaw while it was happening and the sinks were being sold. In Kanada, we have Small Claims Court and for very few dollars one can file a claim for up to $10K per occurance; and for around $50 more per person have them served with subpoenas to come and bring all their pertinent records.

    Or.. in the alternative for $60 a shot I can just replace the sinks with properly built ones. Wonder if TOTO makes sinks?
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,332
    Location:
    New England
    Yes, I have several in my home...with Sanagloss, too.
  8. torontoplumbingguy

    torontoplumbingguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Have had our TOTO Ultramax installed for a week now and I am impressed to say the least. It has taken our best and sent it to places unknown without so much as a victory lap. Flush. Gone. My early impression is that I would not purchase anything else but a TOTO product henceforth. Period. I gave American Standard some careful consideration, especially their Champion 4 line, but then noticed that our sinks in all the washrooms are American Standard and the porcelain is popping off where they have rivetted them. I have sent a request to AS for them to replace the sinks, although they may be out of 'written warranty' under common law which suggests that a product purchased shall be fit for its intended use. Not only were these products grossly defective, the fellow in the plumbing supply tells me that American Standard knew of the fault while they were being sold! Comments? Pix attached.

    Attached Files:

  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,423
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The lav must be over thirty years old.
    In fact, that faucet looks closer to 40 years old.
    Just pop in some new replacement porcelain lavs.

    All brands of metal lavs rust like that after twenty years.
    It's called, Wear and Tear.
  10. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    TOTO Ultramax

    Terry, I bought the Ultramax and it is working out fine.
    Thanks.

    S. Charnoviz
  11. torontoplumbingguy

    torontoplumbingguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Hi Terry:
    Yes, agreed. The new pots are about $60 each; no biggie. However, as a matter of principle, anyone remember the Firenza automobile that used to burst into flames? In law, there is something called manufacturer warranty, there may be pertinent statutarory warranty and in common law at least there is something called 'implied warranty' which means that a product is fit for duty, regardless of time, for the purpose for which it was intended and purchased. THAT is the warranty that applies here. The product was not only defective at the time of manufacture due to the spot welding of the underlying metal, but American Standard may have knowingly been selling the product with the full understanding and knowledge that it was defective when it went out the door or at least while it was sitting on dealer shelves. So, I thought I would bring that to their attention and run it up the pole, as it were.

    Needless to say, their customer service folks did not see it that way nor did their "Office of the President" who I am sure undertook legal counsel before speaking to me.

    The long and short of it is that I have a choice at this point. Either just drop in some new lavs, as you suggest (and a very good suggestion at that) or give them a possible rap across the knuckles to not do this again to unsuspecting consumers.

    I was advised by two seperate plumbing supply shops that this was a common problem with circa 1990's American Standard sinks and a known problem at that but everyone kept quiet. Fact is that the ceramic started coming off years ago (the sinks are 20 years old) and in some cases came off with such noise that they sounded like the report of a .22 pistol.

    Anyway, think I am going to just do as you suggest and drop in some TOTO sinks. May as well replace the plumbing at the same time.

    God bless TOTO. That Ultramax II is nothing short of amazing. It may not pass golf balls (a publicity stunt of course) but it did pass an entire box of interfolded Kleenex. The super finish is nothing short of amazing. We actually have taken the Ajax cleanser out of the bathrooms and I am thinking of putting up wee signs that say "No abrasive cleansers" on the bottom of the seats. We put some dishwashing detergent ON the surface and it was a bugger to flush off. In fact it was tough to wash off with a plastic brush. It stuck like glue and took several unassisted flushes to rid completely; but boy was that one clean toilet!

    In my almost 60 years I have used and flushed MANY a toilet all over this world of ours and on every continent. The TOTO Ultramax II is without a doubt the best of the best. I am wondering now how the Drake is for our powder room and master bathroom; or I may just go right to the Ultramax for those as well.

    We think we will only be in the house for another few years before selling and moving to something small (one of a sixplex plus one of a sixplex stateside); those for sure will all have Ultramax II's in them and TOTO throughout.

    Terry, thank you for providing an invaluable service with this site and I only wish that you were closer to Toronto/Buffalo/Orlando.
  12. kat819

    kat819 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Washington, D.C>
    Terry, I ordered the Ultramax -- will it come with the CT 854 or do I need to order that too?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2010
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,423
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That part number is close to the body of the toilet
    CST854
    Normally, the boxes I'm selling are MS854114S and come with the SS114 softclose seat.

    I don't know from your part number if they are selling you the seat with the toilet or not.
  14. kat819

    kat819 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Washington, D.C>
    I meant the intake valve and flapper/overflow tube -- does that come with the toilet?
  15. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,423
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It wouldn't do you much good if they were selling toilets without the tank parts.

    Toilets are sold as complete working units.
  16. torontoplumbingguy

    torontoplumbingguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Well, we've had the Ultramax top of the line in for several weeks now and WOWEE! are they incredible. Two more toilets in the house and they are both going to be replaced by either the Ultramax or the Drake (Ultramax is a known performer here now). We have not had anything even remotely resembling an issue with out Ultramax and the Sanigloss finish keeps it nice and clean although we do toss in some disinfectant dishwashing liquid and brush it every now and again when we are mopping the floor; and we use a few disinfectant wipes on the surfaces and toss them down the toilet as well. What a difference from the American Standard stuff we had! We are also going to be replacing the American Standard sinks with new Toto's as well....... frankly, they suck and so does their customer service. The sinks are defective due to rivetting popping the ceramics over the years. Called AS and they said jump in a lake. Guess I can understand that. You've got a bazillion defective sinks out there and you sure don't want to replace them all under implied warranty right? Cheap enough...... we'll toss in Toto's simply cuz we love their stuff. After checking out the salt and pepper test videos on utube where the pepper did not get flushed down the first try we are now staying clear of Koehler as well.... it may look bold but we'd prefer it flushed boldly, where no man has gone before, etc.

    Toto... you've got us hooked.


    Thanks for making the website available; it has been invaluable.
  17. canuck

    canuck New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary
    Mixed feelings about Ultramax

    Well I certainly did some research on these toilets and the TOTO looked the way to go. I purchased an Ultramax with soft closing seat and installed it into our main bathroom.
    We are pretty happy with it's "takeaway" power although it still ocassionally leaves small "floaters" when refilling. My 5 year old Crane never did that. I actually took the Crane and installed it in a basement bathroom to replace a terrible unit by Gerber. The Crane works very well down there as well.
    My biggest gripe with the TOTO is the seat. It is sooo uncomfortable and unfortunately I didn't get a comfort height unit so I miss that added reach for my 6'2" frame. I don't mind getting a little further down though, it's just the seat is really contoured and I can't imagine it fitting everybody the same.
    I'm on the skinny side of skinny and I may have to look for a different seat if that is possible.
    All in all I'm not so sure a $600cdn toilet is the way to go however it's in now and of course a keeper. I would have liked to have tried a Cadet from American Standard, or even the Drake model which would have saved me some scratch. My Crane was $180.00!!!!
  18. torontoplumbingguy

    torontoplumbingguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    I am flabbergasted by your Ultramax experience considering the other reviews it has received and our own experience with it. It is utterly amazing here. Never do we find ANYTHING left over after a low volume flush. If you hold the handle down for a second you will get more water flowing for the flush I believe... might want to try that, but we have never had to do that. To test out mine, in a brave and bold moment, I took a whole box of Kleenex (a large box at that) pulled out the block of tissue, tossed it in the toilet and flushed it down. Not a problem. We occasionally have some stickage with an unusually large teenage 'dump' but a second or third flush leaves the toilet pristine. Always. And we put some mild dishwashing liquid into the toilet and use a plastic brush to clean it every week and use antiseptic wipes on the exterior and seat at the same time or when needed. It is by far the best 'crapper' that we have ever had so I am thinking that your issues may be more with venting or line constriction?


  19. Reader Review

    Reader Review Comments by readers

    TOTO Ultramax MS854114S-01

    just purchased an Ultramax from you. It looks good, it works good and was a breeze to install. Thanks a lot.
    I'll be getting another one this summer.

    S. Newkirk
    Auburn WA
  20. torontoplumbingguy

    torontoplumbingguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Now, THAT is a 100% correct and appropriate review in a nutshell. We are working up the energy to replace our other two toilets in the house with the same. They are awesome.
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